Level Designer Lost A Job Offer Over A Post
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Level Designer Lost A Job Offer Over A Post
27 September, 2017
News

Life is unfair and the Internet never forgets. This is still true and today’s story just goes to prove it. MultiLockOn is a vocal Halo fan and modder. He also happens to be a professional level designer, who worked for Treyarch and helped to build Call of Duty games. As of a couple of days ago, he was actually going to land a dream job at 343 Industries. But it was never meant to be.

Someone on Reddit actually published a screenshot of some critical remarks Moses FPS about 343 designers at Halo community map forum Forge Hub. There were also other claims about his critique aimed at fellow map creators (which he denies). NeoGAF has more on this. 

This is the explanation he posted online:

This is a little embarrassing and I’ve struggled back and forth about posting this publicly but I think it’s best if I explain this once to everyone, and not a hundred times individually. As of yesterday 343 revoked their offer to me as a level designer. It seems that they weren’t pleased with the way I’ve criticized them in the past between my posts on Forgehub and Beyond.  So whoever made the anonymous account on r/halo and posted screenshots of old posts, well…congrats! You won.

In fact you won to the extent so that I already quit my prior job, sold my place in California, placed a $2500 payment on an apartment in Bellevue Washington (among other expenses), and began transporting my belongings up there.  Only to find out from the agency I was working under that my offer was withdrawn.  Which puts me in a tricky position where I am both unemployed (no Treyarch or 343) and scrambling to find some place to live – as I had briefly moved my belongings to my parents during this weird transition phase. So life has definitely thrown me a curve ball here.

Now hear me, I’m not looking for pity.  I believe I’m currently reaping what I’ve sowed; and it’s not that I regret criticizing 343 publicly in the past because they are not above reproach – they know this as well.  But rather the way I’ve gone about it could always have been more…professional.  At least considering that my goal has always been to be in the industry I should’ve held myself to a higher standard (if that’s not your goal then flame on).  I suppose a little patience over the years could have gone a long way in this moment.  I just wish communication would have been a bit clearer going either way to have avoided the pickle I’m currently in.  

The expenses aren’t the bad part; I can deal with that.  I have no doubt I can find another level design job in the industry given time.  The aspect of this that really drives home is that this was Halo.  After all these years of forging, I thought what I wanted was 1: a proper editor without boundaries, 2:to be a professional.  It wasn’t until I was sitting at Treyarch working on the highest grossing video game franchise in the world with every ounce of dev power at my disposal did I realize that it wasn’t about the editor, or the money, or the prestige.  In fact after a 12 hour work day at Treyarch I would commute 3 hours home, sit down in front of my xbox, and start forging. 

And I think it was in that moment that everything really clicked – nothing really matters unless you’re building for the game you love. And for as long as I can remember it’s been Halo, it’s always been Halo.  All the dev tools in the world couldn’t drive me away from clunking blocks together in forge just to have a single good 2v2 match before I knocked out for the night.  People always ask me why I play so much Halo 5 (Level 142) if all I do is bitch about it.  Well, I’d rather play a Halo game I hate than the greatest Battlefield game out there.  Or the best Call of Duty.  Or the best such and such.  Even with all the frivolous mechanics that have entered the franchise in the past decade that I don’t agree with, the simple ebb and flow of a good pistol battle is something that you’re not going to find elsewhere.

I was excited to leave my cushy Southern California to go to rainy Washington, I was excited to take a ~$10,000 paycut.  I was excited because I had finally made it to the place I felt like I was born to be in; Halo.  And honestly that’s all that mattered to me – working on the franchise that I loved.  So to essentially already be in the door and then pushed back out is….difficult. 

And even more difficult knowing that this is essentially a forever no, a “you insulted our franchise and employees and will probably never get a chance to work here” no. It’s disheartening to the point where I’m not even sure if I want to pursue another position in the game industry at this point.  In the back of my head no matter where I worked I always knew I wanted to end at Halo.  That’s what I love, that’s where my strongest talents lie, and that’s what I know.  So to have the reality spelled out for me where that position will likely never happen is a hard pill to swallow right now.

The few conversations I had with Tom French were delightful.  The man was incredibly friendly, welcoming, understanding.  I have no doubt that he would be a pleasure to work with and a great man to work under.  But I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m sorry this didn’t end up playing out.  I was as excited as any of you were to contribute to the franchise and hopefully really design maps that would stand the test of time, I wanted to really make this franchise the juggernaut we all know it can be.  So, sorry to let everyone down. This one was on me.

EDIT: I’m seeing a lot of posts over a lot of mediums (holy shit) that are pointing to my past post history. I just want to reiterate:

It would not be hard to find comments deemed unacceptable through my post history on any forum.  I am aware of this, as I’ve been more than blunt in the past.  Many of these comments made out of anger, and many as drive-by comments with no context other than my poor attitude.  I’ve never denied this, and I don’t blame them for making the decision they did.  It’s understandable. 

I also don’t believe my forum persona reflects my actual personality and ability to work in teams.  Yes this is a bummer but I could hardly expect anyone making the hiring decision to base me off of anything except what I’ve given them to see me by.  This is the persona they know because I provided it to them.  Man makes dumb comments online, man loses job.  Tale as old as time.  What’s new.

MultiLockOn

Sad story. I guess if you want some moral: be polite and watch what you say online. Remember, Internet never forgets.

Source: neogaf.com
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Sam
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Sam

@dogzerx, I think the implication here is not that he merely criticized their past work. It’s that he outright insulted it with far less than professional commentary. Do you imagine an employer would want to hire someone who might call personal attacks on other developers at a review meeting simply because he disagrees with their opinion?

Scott Fitzpatrick
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Scott Fitzpatrick

Stories have a moral — troops have morale.

dogzerx@hotmail.com
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dogzerx@hotmail.com

I find this case kind of odd. I would tend to believe some forum post wasn’t the true reason for being fired, and something is missing from the story. Any professional will build a reasonably thick skin towards criticism over the years, and will have long out-grown falling in love with own’s work syndrome, and learn either to accept good criticism, or ignore bad criticism, and those are the only kinds of criticism there are. So what’s the problem? Wasn’t this guy the right man for the job? Aren’t they a team of professionals? Do they run a business to… Read more »

actual_developer
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actual_developer

@darla, a lawsuit? now there’s a waste of time… most companies have an employee conduct policy, and hiring policies that prevent taking on toxic baggage like this guy. Can you imagine being one of the 343 employees who read some of the crap this guy wrote, and then being forced to work with him? As a longtime developer I can only speak for myself and those who I’ve worked with, but we read EVERYTHING. We care about what people think of our work, and when guys like this show up and say we should have all of our necks snapped… Read more »

stationairy_poster
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stationairy_poster

@lysander , since I can not directly reply on your comment for some reason this will have to do.
I did not know this and if this is the case then I retract my earlier sympathies. those strong words are past ”blunt” it is ….. unacceptable.

Lysander
Guest
Lysander

The things outlined here are the tip of the iceburg- this guy absolutely deserved not to get the job. If he’d already had the job, then he deserved to be fired, and there would’ve been no legal issues with that. The “everyone at 343 should get fired” comment is by and far the tamest one that he made about 343, others including statements like “… Halo 4 and 5 made people want to snap their own necks”, wanting to vomit when looking at it, 343’s art is “generic garbage”, not to mention personal attack campaigns against CC authors he didn’t… Read more »

stationairy_poster
Member
stationairy_poster

Who doesn’t say stupid sh!t online? Everyone does. So for someone to go to the length of documenting enough of your posts, posting that on reddit’s halo subgroup and doing it as a Anon? this is either A) someone you personally know and has it our for you or B) a huge troll that likes to see everyone fail.

darla
Guest
darla

I strongly urge you to sue 343 for your financial loss. Your old opinions are not reasonable grounds to yank a written agreement after you have uprooted your life, sold your house, etc. Send a message to the industry that devs are not cattle.

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